Breast cancer. It’s hard to find a woman who hasn’t been touched by this disease. And it is safe to say that in the coming year, even more will be affected. In 2014, it is estimated that 232,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed among US women and approximately 40,000 women will die from breast cancer in the United States alone. Although men do get breast cancer, women overwhelmingly bear the brunt of this disease.
The National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) was founded in 1991 with one mission—to end breast cancer. Through focused advocacy work NBCC has accomplished much during its twenty-plus years—bringing about unprecedented research funding to the worldwide scientific community forging new collaborations to design research and set priorities, expanding access to information and care to underserved women and launching unparalleled training programs to prepare advocates around the globe to work side-by-side with scientists, policy makers and health care providers.
And yet breast cancer continues to take lives. NBCC believes that it is time we stop losing the women we love. That is why we set an ambitious goal in 2010—to know how to end breast cancer by January 1, 2020, Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®. We believe that with the right amount of passion, leadership and funding we will understand how to prevent people from getting breast cancer in the first place and how to prevent them from dying from the disease.
NBCC developed a blueprint—a strategic plan of action to achieve Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®. The blueprint is designed around three goals: research needed to end breast cancer; global access to the necessary information and lifesaving interventions; and the influence of leaders everywhere in the strategies to end breast cancer. But NBCC cannot realize this mission alone. We can point the way, create and facilitate collaborations, formulate and implement plans of action. But ultimately, the success of the deadline depends on our advocacy movement.
NBCC advocates are the backbone of everything we do. Whether they call on their representatives to co-sponsor our signature legislation, the Accelerating the End of Breast Cancer Act, serve as a consumer reviewer for the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program or simply spread the word about Breast Cancer Deadline 2020® in their communities, advocates make this mission possible.
We need women like you to make this deadline a reality—dedicated advocates who believe it is time to stop losing the women we love to breast cancer. We need you to tell the world that women everywhere are taking a stand against breast cancer and will accept nothing less than knowing how to end breast cancer within the next six years. If we want to save women’s lives, we must leave awareness behind and choose action.
Join our movement. There are so many things you can do. Begin by registering for our Twitter webinar on April 16, led by social media expert Alan Rosenblatt, @DrDigiPol, to learn how you can harness the power of social media to advocate for Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®. To learn more, check out our website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter (#BCD2020).
Leign Ann Renzulli is a Communications & Marketing Assistant for @Deadline2020